Representatives of the International Longshoremen’s and the New York Shipping Association have opened negotiations on a contract covering issues including work rules and pay practices in the Port of New York and New Jersey.
The ILA-NYSA negotiations are expected to be the most difficult among several local agreements that supplement the coastwide master contract between the ILA and United States Maritime Alliance.
The ILA and USMX, the umbrella group representing carriers and employers at East and Gulf Coast ports, plan to resume negotiations this month on a coastwide master contract covering container and roll-on, roll-off cargo.
Master contract negotiations broke off in late August but resumed last month under supervision of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. The ILA-USMX contract had been set to expire Sept. 30 but was extended for 90 days after the federal mediator helped the negotiations back on track.
The threat of an ILA strike caused many shippers to increase inventories or divert shipments to other coasts in advance of the original Sept. 30 expiration. Retailers and other shipper organizations have urged the ILA and employers to reach a deal that avoids a work stoppage.
The ILA’s last coastwide strike was in 1977.